‘Overthrown” vaccine expert says US is cladding its ‘darkest winter’
A one time top US health official has told Congress the country could face its “darkest winter in modern history” because of the coronavirus.
Rick Bright guided the government agency in the verge of developing a vaccine, but was pulled out from his post last month.
Mr Bright says he was removed from the job after his refusal to advocate an untested drug treatment being proclaimed as a “game changer” by President Trump.
Mr Trump has declared Mr Bright is a “disgruntled” employee.
Mr Bright also told the House of Representatives subcommittee on health “lives were lost” because of government “inaction” in the early stages of the escalation.
*He said he first spoke out about a medical equipment shortage in January, raising the issue to the “highest levels” of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), but “got no response”.
During his testimony, Mr Bright warned that the US’s “window of opportunity” to deal with the coronavirus was “closing”.*
“If we fail to improve our response now, based on science, I fear the pandemic will get worse and be prolonged,” he said.
“Without better planning, 2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history.”
Mr Bright also explained to the subcommittee that in January he was sent an email he would “never forget”, from a distributor of medical-grade face masks who notified of a severe scarcity.